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What’s new: Top tips for business as the new usual

‘Business as Usual’ (BAU) might seem like a stretch for many Australian businesses right now, but we’re choosing to keep things upbeat by looking at how we can keep running ‘Business as the New Usual’ (BANU).

The power of 'are you okay?'

Life, work, home and business – everything looks different right now. Check-in with clients, colleagues and fellow business owners to see how they’re doing and find out how to support each other during this time. Are there opportunities for collaboration? Could you host a catch-up on Slack or a video platform like Zoom with fellow business owners, to learn how they are or what they’re doing to get through? Always remember that “a problem shared is a problem halved”.

If your team is working remotely, check in with them to ensure they’re staying healthy and well. Probe beyond “I’m fine” and try to get a sense of how they’re really coping. As the Black Dog Institute asserts, “some productivity fluctuations are likely given that almost everyone is dealing with significant workplace change.”

The first step: Reach out. It’s that simple. Reach out to a colleague, friend or customer and ask them how they are doing. If you are in charge of a team working from home, consider sending a token of appreciation that takes one thing off their to-do list. Like a dinner from UberEats, a fresh produce box or an extra day of leave as a mental health day.

Tick off all the tasks that fall to the bottom of the pile

Being hyper-productive might not be possible right now. But if you are looking to get things done, why not tackle those niggling tasks that have a near-permanent place on our to-do lists? Like updating the website, emailing clients for testimonials or recording how-to videos. They keep getting carried over to the next day, week, or even month and may still remain incomplete. The current pause in usual operations could be a great opportunity to get these long-overdue tasks underway.

The first step: Create a list of clients you’ve worked with, whom you could email or call to ask for a testimonial. Set aside an hour in your calendar to contact them, share why you’re reaching out, what type of testimonial you’re looking for (a few sentences, a short video or similar) and when you would like their testimonial by. If it is a business or peer you’ve worked with before, offer them a testimonial for their business or service in return.

A shift in values?

For many of us, the things we do and how we do them have changed. If you feel that your brand or business needs to realign and rediscover its purpose, now is the perfect opportunity to refine your strategy and align it with all the elements of your operations. By the time the world finds its feet again, you could be taking off with a new mission and customer base.

The first step: Start with Simon Sinek’s renowned TED Talk “Start with Why?”. It’ll give you the kick-start you might be looking for to work in greater alignment with your values.

Why not ask us for a Brand Guidelines document once you’ve refreshed your strategy? A Brand Guidelines document ensures that your business has all the brand elements needed to seamlessly execute your plan, which our Graphic Designers can assist your business with.

Community before competition

Now, perhaps more than ever, we are understanding how powerful our need to cultivate and be a part of our community is. Building a community – even professionally – is a crucial process for current and future business success. We’ve been championing local businesses around our franchisees with our Local Business Shoutout series on Instagram. It’s a great way to throw the spotlight on the businesses that bring our local areas to life and give back to them.

Another way you can engage with your business community is by sharing thought leadership videos via LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram Live. Whether you invite a guest to interview or share your own experience, with a simple video setup of a ring light and a microphone, you can create content for your community within hours.

Take Fiona Killackey of My Daily Business Coach as an example. In her Facebook group, she hosts virtual and informative events, sharing insights into using Instagram for business and offering tips for audio podcasts and financial suggestions for small businesses. While it might not lead to a growth in her client base, sharing genuine, relevant and helpful content builds her reputation and trust among her peers.

The first step: Comment – genuinely – on a peer or colleague’s LinkedIn post. Interacting with online communities is like being at a networking event or party. The most interesting and thought-provoking conversations and connections are made when many people contribute to the discussion.

Automate it

One silver lining to the chaos of the past 18 months is that customers are making a greater effort to shop locally and support small businesses in their community. With more local eyes potentially on your business, now is a good time to consider automating key business processes. This may include sending welcome emails to new subscribers, reviving abandoned cart emails (if you’re an e-commerce retailer) or sending tailored offers to your customers.

Email marketing remains a consistent and reliable marketing tactic for building brand awareness and establishing rapport with new and existing customers. It’s why we have launched our own Campaign on Demand service – to give business owners greater control and flexibility while talking to their customers.

The first step: Pick one email marketing stream you can automate for your business and set up an email campaign to track its performance for a month.

Ask for the review

You may have seen the meme that says, “A real person does a happy dance when you buy from a small business.” While making a purchase is great, you can also encourage customers to support you in other ways. Leaving a review, sharing your social media posts and tagging you in other people’s posts can equally boost your bottom line and introduce you to new customers.

While you don’t want to be encouraging ‘cash for comment’, you can still request that customers share their experience with you in an online review. According to the 2020 Yellow Social Media Report, 68% of people read online reviews or blogs to find out what others think about a product or service.

The first step: With your email marketing automated, add a review request email to the mix to be sent to customers a few days after they make a purchase. Alternatively, simply add a line in your email signature asking people to leave a Google or Facebook review.

If you have worked with Worldwide recently, you may have noticed that we have automated our review journey for our customers. Give us a call today if you liked our customer journey and we’ll introduce you to our strategic partner, The Station Marketing. The team can walk you through our Digital Review Accelerator to help you nurture business reviews and improve your search engine positioning.

If you want to get ahead in 2022, contact Worldwide… more than just Print today!

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